Nigeria’s COVID-19 situation has given a cause for cheer in recent times. And the report of the lowest daily count on Saturday further indicates that the worst of the pandemic may well be over.
For the first time since 27th June 2021, Nigeria recorded the lowest daily figure of three new infections. The earlier count was two, while no new case was recorded a week earlier, 20th June 2021.
Nigeria’s index case was reported on 27th February 2020 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). From a single digit number up till 19th March of that year, the cases shot up to 10 two days later.
While the graph rapidly moved up, leading to shutdown later in 2020, the numbers have moved down to less than 100 daily from the 92 on 7th February, this year.
Indeed many states have consistently reported a no case situation. Even Lagos, the epicentre of the pandemic, did not report any new infection as at the close of the report for Saturday.
It’s also good news on the casualty side. No death was reported since 18th February. And there are now 2,349 patients of COVID-19 across Nigeria as at last Saturday.
Also cheering is the lifting of the ban on flights from Nigeria by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to multiple media platforms in the Middle East country, the reversal of the ban took effect on Saturday, 5th March.
Saudi Gazette reports that the country’s Ministry of Interior announced the resumption of direct flights to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, United Republic of Comoros, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad also confirmed the lifting of the flight restriction.
‘Saudi Arabia has lifted the suspension of direct flights from Nigeria and other 18 countries’, he wrote on his verified Twitter. account
In the wake of the outbreak of the Omicron COVID variant last December, Saudi Arabia had suspended all flights from Nigeria.
‘Suspending all incoming flights and suspending entry to the Kingdom for non-nationals coming directly or indirectly from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, except for those who have spent a period of no less than (14) fourteen days in another country from which they are allowed to come’, the circular announcing the ban had read.
In January, the Federal Government asked Saudi Arabia to lift the ban.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada made the request when he met with Faisal bin Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria.
‘Nigeria has understood fully the reason for the ban by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was for the best interest of its citizens’, the Minister had said.
‘But the steps taken so far by Nigerian authorities to curtail the spread of the Omicron variant have made it possible for many countries to consider Nigeria as safe, removing Nigeria from the blacklisted countries’.